Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment
Recently, the Government of India has accorded sanction to Team CLAW to lead a team of people with disabilities to scale Siachen Glacier.
Key highlights of Operation Blue Freedom:
- People with disabilities from across the country will undertake an expedition till Siachen Glacier to create a new World Record for the largest team of people with disabilities to reach the world’s highest battlefield.
- The team of people with disabilities trained by ‘Team CLAW’ a team of Armed Forces veterans.
- The selected people with disabilities from across the country will undertake an expedition till Kumar Post (Siachen Glacier) to create a new World Record for the largest team of people with disabilities to reach the world’s highest battlefield.
- On the occasion of Independence Day, the Cabinet Minister Dr. Virendra Kumar will flag off the vehicle convoy carrying the Divyanjan Siachen Glacier expedition team from Dr.Ambedkar International Centre, 15 Janpath New Delhi, which is a premier autonomous research body mandated to research and provide policy feed to empower marginalised communities and to bring in Socio Economic transformation in the society.
- The successful execution of this pioneering expedition, ‘Operation Blue Freedom’, shall firmly place India on the global stage as a leader in empowering Divyangjan and set a benchmark for other nations to emulate.
- This will drive The Prime Minister, vision for Divyangjan and MSJE’s pursuit to harness the immense productive potential of people with disabilities. Simultaneously, it will powerfully portray the skill and heart of India’s Armed Forces not only on the Battlefield but off it as well.
About Operation Blue Freedom:
- ‘Operation Blue Freedom’ was launched in 2019 by Team C.L.A.W – A team of Indian Special Forces veterans, set upon a global mission to shatter the common perception of pity, charity and inability associated with people with disabilities and recreate it to one of dignity, freedom and ability.
- Team CLAW’s founder Major Vivek Jacob served 14 years as a Special Forces operator
- Team C.L.A.W travelled across India and trained more than 100 people in ‘Rehabilitative SCUBA Diving’.
- Through this journey, the team’s vision expanded to address the entire spectrum of issues faced by people with disabilities.
- Team C.L.AW is in the process of setting up centres across the globe where-in Special Forces Veterans and People with Disabilities are merging in action for creating a better life experience, for not only persons with disability but the non-disabled as well.
Triple World Record
People of Determination and former Special Forces veterans from across the world are coming together with Team C.L.A.W. to create the Triple Elemental ‘Adaptive’ World Records – Land, Air and Water.
Largest team of People with Disabilities to climb the world’s highest ‘Battlefield’ – Siachen Glacier, India
Largest team of People with Disabilities to Skydive (Accelerated Free Fall) – Dubai, UAE
Adaptive Scuba Diving – World’s Largest SCUBA Occupational Therapy and skill training programme for people with disabilities. – Maldives
Disability in India:
- As per Census 2011, in India, out of the total population of 121 crore, about 2.68 crore persons are ‘Disabled’ (2.21% of the total population).
- Out of 2.68 crore, 1.5 crore are males and 1.18 crore are females.
- Majority (69%) of the disabled population resided in rural areas.
- Globally there are 1 billion people with disabilities, which is 15% of the global population.
- They face a lack of holistic rehabilitation, inadequate skilling, lack of seamless mobility and lack of suitable employment.
- These factors combined together largely confined persons with disabilities to their homes, leading to inaccurate awareness on their issues and wrong perceptions about their abilities.
- Thus, their productive potential is largely untapped leading to global exclusion from mainstream life.
- The Siachen Glacier is located in the Eastern Karakoram range in the Himalayas, just northeast of Point NJ9842 where the Line of Control between India and Pakistan ends.
- It is the Second-Longest glacier in the World’s Non-Polar areas.
- Fedchenko Glacier, located in Yazgulem Range, Tajikistan is the Longest glacier in the World’s Non-Polar areas.
- The Siachen Glacier lies immediately south of the great drainage divide that separates the Eurasian Plate from the Indian subcontinent in the extensively glaciated portion of the Karakoram sometimes called the “Third Pole”.
- The Siachen Glacier is part of Ladakh which has now been converted into a Union Territory.
- The Siachen Glacier is the world’s highest battlefield.
- The entire Siachen Glacier has been under the administration of India since 1984 (Operation Meghdoot).
Programmes/Initiatives for Disabled in India
- Accessible India Campaign : Creation of Accessible Environment for PwDs
- DeenDayal Disabled Rehabilitation Scheme
- Assistance to Disabled Persons for Purchase/fitting of Aids and Appliances (ADIP)
- National Fellowship for Students with Disabilities (RGMF)
- Right of Persons with Disabilities Act 2016